Following the team’s victory over RCD Espanyol on Sunday night, which resulted in a 4-2 victory, Barcelona president Joan Laporta made an appearance on TV3 earlier today. In March 2021, Laporta took over again as FC Barcelona’s president, and he quickly implemented a number of significant improvements. He replaced Ronald Koeman as the first-team manager with Xavi Hernandez, one of the major decisions he made six months into his second term as president. And in just his first full season in charge, Xavi led Barcelona to their first La Liga title in four years, proving that the choice was a wise one.
Laporta talks about Xavi’s renewal and Messi’s return
“We want this to be the start of more titles and to bring joy back to Barcelona fans,” Laporta said. “The players, Xavi, the coaching staff and in general the whole club have done an extraordinary job.”
There have been rumours regarding Xavi’s new contract, and Laporta said that discussions will start as soon as the league championship is secured. “We agreed to talk about it at the end of the season. I understand that there will be no problem because Xavi is a club man,” he insisted. “Xavi was clear that he wanted to be the coach of Barça. Maybe more than me. It has a lot of points in common from Guardiola’s era.”
Laporta asserted that he and the Argentina captain had previously exchanged multiple messages after confirming that Barcelona wants to re-sign Lionel Messi in the summer and that the team is aiming to assemble a strong team for the upcoming campaign, saying:
“I spoke with Leo Messi about the situation that happened. We sent each other text messages. We have a relationship. Messi plays for Paris, and there has been some unpleasant situations with the fans. I don’t want to bother him. We exchanged messages recently. He respects the club, and nobody doubts that.”
Talking about Messi being linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, Laporta said:
“Barça is Barça, and this is Leo Messi’s home. Barcelona can compete with Saudi Arabia and everywhere else. Messi is the best player in the world and obviously any coach wants to train him”
Barcelona President shows his ambitions
Moving onto the club’s transfer plans, he said: “We have to work to have a more competitive team. We are happy with the team but we think it can be improved”. He further said:
“We do it with a view to competing in the Champions League. We will strengthen the defence, the midfield, and the attack. Additionally he stated that “We are ready to sign and it depends on La Liga approving it.”
Laporta also revealed that he had come close to signing Bernardo Silva in 2015, but was not elected as president at the time. “Bernardo Silva? I know him personally. In 2015, I signed him but I was not elected,” he revealed.
The club president also thanked La Liga supremo Javier Tebas for his congratulatory message, saying: “I thank him for his congratulations. I’m not in surprise. It highlights LaLiga. For me. La Liga is the most important in the world.”
Ansu Fati’s future has given rise to numerous rumours, but Laporta has clarified that Barcelona wants to keep hold of him and that the player also doesn’t want to leave. “Ansu Fati is a player we want at the club, and he wants to stay at Barça, too,” he stated. The club president added that despite concerns about Gavi’s contract registration, they are confident he will stay at Barcelona. “I am convinced that Gavi will continue to be a Barça player. We don’t suffer anything from his renewal. We suffer more from his momentum on the field, that he doesn’t hurt himself one day.”
However for departing Mateu Alemany, Laporta said: “Mateu Alemany is a professional and an honest person. He’s one of the engineers for our success. He accepted a very high offer from the English Premier League.”
Barcelona president club legend Deco to succeed Alemany
The president went on to say that Deco is one of the possibilities being considered to succeed Alemany and that if he were to join Barcelona as a director, he would no longer be allowed to represent players. “Deco, who already works with us as the club’s representative in Brazil, could be the new director. In case he becomes sporting director, he would have to leave his agency.”
On the possibility of inviting Gerard Pique for the title celebrations, Laporta said: “I called him yesterday morning, but I couldn’t talk to him. This league is also his, he has competed, and he has been with us.”
The Barcelona president provided his opinion on the last-night incident at the RCDE Stadium when supporters rushed to the pitch to prevent Barcelona players from celebrating their title victory, saying:
“Espanyol, both the management and the public, were generally very correct and acted with great sportsmanship. The incident was isolated and luckily we don’t have to regret anything serious. We will not ask for responsibility. It is an internal matter for Espanyol”. Moreover He again refutes Negreira scandal. He continued, “Most clubs across the world have reports on the Negreira scandal. Referees play a role in sports. We don’t and have never purchased referees.”
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